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SLAS Marine Inc. v. Pounders

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit

March 25, 2015

SLAS MARINE, INC.
v.
JOHN J. POUNDERS A/K/A JOHN POUNDERS

ON APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA. NO. 736-925, DIVISION " G" . HONORABLE ROBERT A. PITRE, JR., JUDGE PRESIDING.

G. PATRICK HAND, JR., ATTORNEY AT LAW, Gretna, Louisiana, COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT, SLAS MARINE, INC.

MICHAEL G. CALOGERO, ATTORNEY AT LAW, Metairie, Louisiana, COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE, JOHN J. POUNDERS.

Panel composed of Judges Susan M. Chehardy, Robert A. Chaisson, and Hans J. Liljeberg.

OPINION

Page 644

[14-904 La.App. 5 Cir. 2] SUSAN M. CHEHARDY, J.

Appellant, SLAS Marine, Inc. (" SLAS" ), appeals from the judgment of the trial court in which the court found valid and binding a recorded lease agreement between a third party and appellee, John J. Pounders, and denied SLAS's rule to evict Mr. Pounders. For the reasons that follow, we reverse the judgment of the trial court finding the lease agreement valid and binding, vacate the denial of the rule for eviction, and remand the matter for further proceedings.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Located at 5057 Kenal Road in Lafitte, Louisiana is a plot of waterfront land 70 feet wide by 200 feet deep, upon which is located a marina (hereinafter, " the property" ). At the time of the hearing on the rule for eviction in May 2014, Mr. Pounders had been operating a charter fishing company on this property for twenty-three years.

On June 15, 2011, Hai Du Duong, in his capacity as manager of B.J. Seafood Enterprise, LLC (" B.J. Seafood" ), executed a quitclaim deed by which, for a sum of $2,500,000.00, title to the property was transferred to Seaway Properties, Inc. (" Seaway" ), of which Mr. Duong was the director.

[14-904 La.App. 5 Cir. 3] One year later, on June 15, 2012, Mr. Duong, on behalf of B.J. Seafood, executed a written lease, in which the property was leased to Mr. Pounders for a term of five years beginning on January 1, 2012 and ending December 31, 2017[1] for the rent of

Page 645

$350.00 per month. This lease was filed in the Jefferson Parish conveyance records on June 29, 2012.

On October 28, 2013, Lina Chu, in her capacity as president of SLAS, executed an Act of Credit Sale for the purchase of the property from Seaway for $3,000,000.00. Soon thereafter, Ms. Chu received and deposited a $700.00 check from Mr. Pounders dated November 20, 2013 made payable to " Seaway Marina" as rent for the months of November and December, 2013. Then, upon learning that Ms. Chu intended to increase the rent, Mr. Pounders disclosed to Ms. Chu a ...


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